Why choose Beacon for digital mammography?
With cancer, it’s critical that it is detected as early as possible. This is why Beacon offers digital and 3D mammography, the most advanced breast cancer screening tools available.
With digital mammography, the radiologist reviews electronic images of the breast using special high-resolution monitors. The physician can adjust the brightness, change contrast and zoom in for close-ups of specific areas of interest.
Because they are electronic, digital mammography images can be transmitted quickly across a network. These images can also be easily stored or copied without any loss of information, and transmitted and received in a faster manner, eliminating dependence on only one set of “original” films.
3D mammography provides our radiologists with a three-dimensional view of your breast tissue, which helps them identify and characterize individual breast structures without the confusion of overlapping tissue. This technology allows for a higher rate of cancer detection and gives radiologists a more confident set of results. 3D mammography helps physicians to detect breast cancer earlier, allowing treatment to begin sooner.
Recommended breast cancer screenings*
The following screening guidelines are for women with an average risk for breast cancer.
Women under age 40:
- Breast self-exams – monthly
- Clinical breast exams – every three years
- Mammograms – not needed unless there are symptoms present
Women over age 40:
*If you have an increased risk for breast cancer, your doctor may recommend earlier or more frequent screenings.
Breast self-exam guide
Finding a lump or change in your breast does not mean you have cancer. Eight out of 10 breast lumps are not cancerous. Only your doctor can be sure. Report any change promptly. Early detection is the best defense. Ideally, examinations should be done 7-10 days after the first day of your menstrual period. Your breasts are less lumpy and tender then. If you no longer have periods, your examination can be performed at any time. Take your time to avoid being rushed when you perform the exam. Choose a time that will afford you some privacy.
Download Breast self-exam guide (PDF)
Mammograms for women with breast implants
People often ask: How do you do a mammogram on a woman with implants? The answer is simple. We do the same exams—either screening or diagnostic—but with a minimum of eight images instead of four.
The Eklund Method is a lifesaving diagnostic tool for women with breast implants that consists of eight images. Four X-rays are performed with the implant in place, while the remaining four images involve displacing the implant against the chest wall to better visualize the anterior (front) portion of the breast. Taut compression of the entire breast is vital to visualize its ductal and glandular structure.
The first four images are done with the implant in place to check for any irregularities and a minimal amount of compression is used. A small amount of breast tissue surrounds the implant. The second four images called “displaced” or “push back” views are of just the breast tissue. The technologist achieves these images by gently moving the implant toward the chest wall while securing the breast tissue for the image.
A screening digital mammogram with tomosynthesis can be performed for women with implants as long as there are no symptoms or problems at the time of the mammogram.